Monday 2 December 2013

Vans Warped Tour // Kevin Says Tour, Live Review ITCH

Last month we caught up with iTCH ahead of the Vans Warped Tour coming back to the UK. As well as playing the main event at London’s Alexandra Palace iTCH was also heading out on the Kevin Says Tour. A couple of firsts were in store as we headed down to the Leeds show last week; it is the first time that the Kevin Says Tour has hit the UK and, indeed,  iTCH’s first headline tour. We also checked out main support RDGLDGRN. 
Click below to read the live review, see all the photos and read our interview with iTCH himself…

Vans Warped Tour is on a UK takeover and, as well as the main event at Alexandra’s Palace and Road To Warped Tour, The Kevin Says Tour is making its debut; and the first night kicked off in style at The Cockpit in Leeds. With iTCH headlining the tour there was just time to catch Washington DC’s RDGLDGRN who were main support. Hip hop meets indie-rock with synchronized dance moves; on paper it shouldn’t work, but at The Cockpit tonight it totally does. Some of the crowd had clearly heard of them but the majority had not; however that didn’t matter, the first night of the tour, combined with the stellar line-up, meant that everyone was in high spirits and RDGLDGRN went down a storm. 

Each of them was dressed head to toe in their respective colour and referred to themselves simply as Red, Gold and Green. The music speaks for itself and soon enough most of the crowd were dancing along to their quirky routines. More unique than most other bands on the scene at the minute, they are hard to pigeon hole, and it would seem deliberately so. ‘Hey O’ is undeniably catchy, filled with pop sensibilities, whilst ‘Millios Fans’ is more hip-hop led. Having received backing from Dave Grohl (who subsequently went on to play drums on the majority of their first EP) RDGLDGRN are ambitious; with big riffs, infectious choruses and a punky vibe, they bring a huge element of fun to the stage. The same buzz that surrounds the band has come to The Cockpit tonight. They bring the mellow ‘I Love Lamp’ and the bold and gritty ‘Lootin’ in London’ to life. They are smooth and slick, with a brilliant on-stage chemistry and it is hard not to like them. RDGLDGRN; JB WLL DN! 8/10

iTCH is the act everyone has been waiting for and, as the indie rapper takes to the stage, the excitement in the room is high. iTCH is known for putting on an energetic show and getting stuck in with the crowd. However, the last time we saw him he was a little restricted and on crutches. Tonight, however, the crutches have gone and we are ready for a lively first day of the Kevin Says Tour. 

The Camden rapper makes a strong entrance and there’s no messing around as he bursts into new single ‘Homeless Romantic’; with its raw verses and soaring chorus it is the perfect beginning to the set. He’s joined on stage by his band, all of whom are sporting iTCH t-shirts and a selection of somewhat creepy masks; one a Guy Fawkes, one a giant crying baby and the other like some sort of bank robber with a pair of tights over his head. One thing is for certain, iTCH knows how to put on a show and, more than merely the music alone, he has thought about everything, which makes for an impressive set. Although many people in the crowd want to hear tracks from iTCH’s former band, the now defunct King Blues, none are played. However the rest of the set makes up for it and proves an eclectic mix; impressive spoken word pieces are set alongside hits such as the eerie ‘Spooky Kids’. 

The stage is filled with multiple drums, making the set percussive and constantly moving and changing as each member flits between mics and drums. It is safe to say you never know what’s going to happen at an iTCH show and there is a buzz running throughout the audience as they wait for something to happen. And, soon enough, iTCH is no longer on stage and is down amongst the crowd, but then up on the bar serenading the crowd below him. It is an epic, rowdy performance with the crowd getting involved in every minute of it. 

Back on stage, iTCH takes things back a little with the slower ‘True’, taken from EP ‘Manifesto Pt. 1 How To F**king Rule At Life’. Openly admitting that this is his first tour free from all substances, iTCH is in good spirits which is infectious to the crowd. The set ends on the gritty and raw ‘London Is Burning’ which was penned in response to the 2011 riots. iTCH, the self confessed rebel street musician, is proud to have a political voice. Having spent the summer at Warped US he is a pro and a great choice to headline this tour tonight. A successful first year of The Kevin Says Tour: same time again next year? 8/10

CLICK HERE to read what happened when we caught up with iTCH ahead of his Warped Tour appearance

Photo credit: Danny Peart Photography.